THE Scottish Greens have announced their support for devolution in Shetland in the event of Scottish independence.

In a motion passed at the Scottish Greens party conference on Sunday, members expressed their support for autonomy of Shetland, saying they “recognise the special status of island communities”.

The motion reads: “In the event of Scottish independence, the Scottish Green Party will support the Shetland Islands to achieve a level of political and economic autonomy, as directed by the democratic will of the people of Shetland, up to and including the level of autonomy held by the Faroe Islands from Denmark.”

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Shetland south councillor Alex Armitage, who introduced the motion, stressed that it would not limit Shetland’s right to seek autonomy, including seeking independence from Scotland.

The motion was supported by 88% of those who voted.

The passing of the Islands Act (Scotland) 2018, which allows for local authorities to make additional powers requests, has bolstered the case for autonomy in Shetland.

On September 9, 2020, Shetland council voted 18-2 (with two members absent) to support a motion to explore options for achieving “financial and political self-determination" for the islands.

The self-governing Faroe Islands, which are part of Denmark, have been cited by some as a blueprint of how an autonomous Shetland could run.

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The Faroe Islands have a population of 53,000 and have control over energy, environment, taxation, trade and education, as well as the management of fisheries and natural resources.

The islands have their own elected assembly and a government, currently led by Prime Minister Aksel V. Johannesen.

Similar calls were made in Orkney in July, as the local council voted 15-6 to consider proposals to change the island’s status within the UK, or even become a self-governing territory of Norway.